# LaTeX - How do I acquire it?

1. May 27, 2012

LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

(a) - Direct me to where a tutorial or explanation is located on this forum (If there are any).

(b) - Direct me to where I can find a tutorial or explanation on how to acquire and install it..

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It began installing via a batch command, then a GUI popped up..

Operating system:
Windows 7 (64bit)

2. May 27, 2012

### chiro

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

Hey Bradyns and welcome to the forums.

There is a guide for using latex on these forums and it can be found here:

If you want to use latex in the tradition document assembly type way, then Donald Knuth who created latex wrote a guide on how to use it. You could probably search the internet for other guides though.

Here's a nice link google gave back that will give you some ideas:

http://www.tug.org/books/

If you search enough though, I'm sure you will find some free guides on some websites out there somewhere.

Good luck!

3. May 27, 2012

### Jimmy Snyder

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

I use miktex with no problems.

4. May 27, 2012

### Fredrik

Staff Emeritus
Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

I don't know what Tex live is. Most people use MikTex together with a LaTeX editor, like Texmaker or Lyx. (I haven't tried either of those. I use another one, called LEd. It's nice but a bit buggy, and it was hard to get to work right. So I'm reluctant to recommend it). Install MikTex first, and then a LaTeX editor.

http://miktex.org
http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/
http://www.lyx.org/

5. May 27, 2012

### M Quack

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

(La)TeX is a compiler that takes ASCII input files and produces typeset documents from them, usually in tex's own .dvi format. The system has grown to quite some complexity, that's why you get several distributions like MikTeX or TeXlive that include different macro packages and so on. The idea is a bit like the different Linux distributions.

On different flavors of unix or Linux (even Windows!), you can use LaTeX from the command line, but these days it is mostly used via a GUI like TeXmaker, Lyx or TeXnic Center. All of them will have a text editor where you write your "source code", a button to compile, and a way of viewing the final typeset document.

I usually use pdfLaTeX that directly produces .pdf docs, and nicely handles .pdf, .jpg and .png figures without the need to convert formats.

6. May 27, 2012

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

These were great!
Thank you very much. :)

7. May 27, 2012

### D H

Staff Emeritus
Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

It's pretty much the gold standard for TeX releases. Most other releases of TeX are based on TeXLive.

8. May 27, 2012

### Fredrik

Staff Emeritus
Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

Is it something that people can use instead of MikTex, or is it just something that you use to write programs like MikTeX?

9. May 30, 2012

### DrDu

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

Texlive and Miktex are both distributions of TeX and LaTeX. I use Texlive and never tried out Miktex. I don't think there are mayor differences.
Btw: Although there are different editors which try to help beginners in writing LaTeX, you don't need to use a specialized editor to write Latex, any text editor will do.

10. May 30, 2012

### AlephZero

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

I use MikTex. and looking at the TexLive web pages it seems very similar - except possibly it is a bit more "open" about the low level configuration options, and/or using some of Knuth's other Tex related software like Web2C.

But unless you actually need that sort of thing, I don't see any obvious reason to change from MikTex.

11. May 30, 2012

### D H

Staff Emeritus
Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

MikTeX is Windows only. Caveat: The last time I used a PC seriously was 1984. My manager at the time gave my PC to someone who needed one for programming and gave me this stupid beige box in its place. Haven't looked back.

Based on various reviews,
• The MikTeX manager GUI is apparently better / more Windows-like than is the TeXLive counterpart.
• MikTeX is Windows-only, allowing the author to focus on making it work very well with Windows. TeXLive is multi-platform. This better ensures cross-platform portability of your LaTeX code.
• MikTeX is a bit more liberal with the packages it distributes. TeXLive has rules that it strictly obeys. You wont find the floatflt or picins packages in TeXLive (these are the two that get the most complaints). There is an alternative, wrapfig, and it is arguably better than either floatflt or picins.
• MikTeX has an update-on-the-fly feature. This is a big plus if you find you need to use some package that is not part of the standard MikTeX delivery, but can a big minus when the author of some existing package breaks backward compatibility with his newest release.
• MikTeX is a one-man show, TeXLive is a team effort.
• TeXLive has better support for ConTeXt.
• Otherwise, the two are now very similar.

12. Jun 3, 2012

### AlephZero

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

Bah humbug, I spoke too soon!. I just fell down a hole where the latest version of metapost doesn't work (in some circumstances) with the latest version of MikTex - and judging by internet formums it hasn't worked for at least 2 years and there's no sign of a fix. (But it worked fine back in the days of Windows 98).

Just downloaded TeXLive, and started persuading it to work the way I want do. After MikTex it feels like turning the clock back 10 or 15 years, but hey, something that works is better than something that doesn't.

13. Jun 5, 2012

### jhae2.718

Re: LaTeX -- How do I acquire it?

I used to use MikTeX on Windows but I haven't been able to get the 64-bit version working lately, so on Windows computers I've moved over to TeXLive.

I generally used LaTeX on Linux with TeXLive and a makefile, however.

14. Jul 10, 2012